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Born 1960 in Vienna. Austrian composer, improviser and performer. He studied composition with Friedrich Cerha and musicology in Vienna (doctorate 1989 with a thesis on Anton Webern). As a double bassist, he played in chamber and experimental jazz ensembles. Besides writing experimental instrumental music, he performs on his own electronic instrument m@ze°2, develops software environments for computer-aided composition and creates generative sound and video environments – often in collaboration with artists from other fields.
Essl served as composer-in-residence at the Darmstadt summer courses (1990–94) and completed a commission for IRCAM. In 1997, he was presented at the Salzburg Festival with portrait concerts and sound installations. He teaches „Computer Aided Composition“ at the „Studio for Advanced Music & Media Technology“ of the Bruckner University, Linz. Since 1994 he curates experimental music concerts and sound installations at the „Essl Collection“ in Klosterneuburg.